Pakistan PM Imran Khan accepted that Pakistani soil had been used in the past by terrorists to carry out terror attacks. On the second day of his maiden Iran trip, Khan addressed a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran following bilateral talks and acknowledged that Tehran had suffered terrorism from groups operating from within Pakistan.
He emphasised that the “entire political spectrum agreed that no militant group will be allowed to operate from Pakistan” and added that the “decision was made through consensus within the country and not due to external pressure”.
Both the leaders agreed on a ‘rapid reaction force’ to be deployed on a shared border as part of efforts to deal with the growing threat of terrorism.
But the premier’s bold statement garnered controversy back home with certain people questioning the wisdom behind publicly admitting the presence of anti-Iran groups.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar censured the cricket-turned-politician for his statements.
Not funny anymore
“Our prime minister stood beside the Iranian president and said that our soil was being used for terrorist activities. This is not funny anymore,” she said.
Khar also slammed the premier for suggesting that incumbent premier and rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi’s reelection would strengthen chances of a peaceful resolution of Kashmir. “He has mainstreamed massacres in India. He has the blood of innocent Kashmiris on his hands. But our prime minister believes he [Modi] will solve the Kashmir issue.”
The parliamentarian expressed concerns over the country being “continually ridiculed”. Clamping back on the opposition’s criticism, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Murad Saeed reminded the PPP members of appointing Hussain Haqqani – who was accused of treason in the Memogate scandal.
Saeed also condemned Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his statements demanding the government take steps against proscribed organisations at a time when the country was on the brink of war with India.